Fall 2010 Newsletter
Captain Nick Finger
President Sam Power
YALE 16 - USCGA 8
In a grudge match that pitted two undefeated teams against each other in the final game of the regular season, the men of Yale Rugby triumphed over the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and claimed the NERFU southern division title. For Yale, the victory is particularly sweet after having fallen to Coast Guard the last two years, finishing second in the division both times.
Although both teams carried huge point differentials with them into Saturday's contest, the match was expectedly low scoring (16-8 in favor of Yale) and defensively oriented as both sides understood the capabilities of their opponent's offense. Yale drew first blood when flyhalf Rob Smith '06 converted a penalty kick from about 30 meters in the 20th minute to put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard. A second Rob Smith kick approximately 10 minutes later gave the Bulldogs a 6-0 lead, but Coast Guard responded with a successful kick to bring the score to 6-3 at halftime.
Penalties on both sides impacted the game throughout, as neither team was able to put together sustained drives but instead settled for kicks, lineouts and scrumdowns. Early in the second half, several untimely penalties backed the Eli's deep into their own territory; off a 5-meter scrum, Coast Guard worked the ball wide and found the try zone. The sharp-angled conversion was missed, however, and Yale remained within two points at 8-6. Several minutes later a late- tackle penalty awarded to Yale again put Smith in kicking range, and he converted to give Yale a 9-8 advantage.
In the end that was all the points Yale would need, but the Bulldogs nonetheless extended the lead when fullback Matt Reagan ’05 broke a tackle off a split backs move and found winger Bobby Cardone ’06 for the score. Smith converted the kick to give Yale a 16-8 lead. Coast Guard threatened late in the second half on two occasions: in the first instance, Coast Guard missed a penalty kick wide right that would have made it a one-try game. In the second instance, the Bulldogs mustered an impressive 8 minute goal line stand to prevent a late Coast Guard try. In general, Yale’s back play was good and the forwards put forth another excellent effort in the scrums and on defense.
The stellar performance by the Bulldogs means that Yale will host Trinity next week for the New England Tournament quarterfinal. The Eli's defeated Trinity just two weeks ago in Hartford by a score of 29- 10. Still, there is tremendous pressure to perform in this game as the loser will be knocked out of New England, Northeast, and National title contention. Stay tuned for an official announcement of the time of the game later this week.
The Yale Killer B’s also played a solid game but did not fare as well in the final outcome. The B side pack gave up some size to Coast Guard and consequently often found themselves pushed off the ruck. Because the breakdowns were not won cleanly by either side, the backs were frequently out of position to run their plays. Still, Yale muscled up and put together several good drives in the second half and demonstrated the talent they had displayed in previous weeks. Center Don “Mushy” Jeon ’05 scored the lone try for Yale.